One more year, El Refugio del Burrito displays an operation to ensure animal welfare during El Rocío Pilgrimage. We require your help to guarantee that all equines participating to this event are healthy and well taken care of.
With over one million participants and close to 120 brotherhoods, El Rocío is the largest pilgrimage in the Western world. Between the 9 and 16 of May, the worshippers will undertake the journey to the chapel of El Rocío (Almonte, Huelva) in carts decorated with colours and ribbons and riding horses, mules and other equines. More than 20,000 animals will accompany them.
El Refugio del Burrito ensures the welfare of horses, mules, donkeys and ponies that participate to the pilgrimage. A team of 30 people, including veterinaries, farriers and specialists in equine behaviour and care, integrate this security and assistance operation that will travel to Huelva in May.
In 2015, we assisted close to 200 animals and rescued 6 abandoned and/or mistreated equines, which now live happily in our refuge. Although most of the animals were in good condition, some of them (especially hired horses and mules) needed assistance due to inappropriate care and unfit equipment. Our presence is to ensure the welfare of these animals and to minimize their suffering.
During the pilgrimage this year, we will:
- Offer veterinary assistance to those animals in need, through itinerant veterinary devices and a field hospital.
- Counsel owners and users of equines, to ensure the welfare of the animals.
- Patrol the access ways and the village of El Rocío to identify those cases of animal cruelty and report to the competent authorities.
The cost of this year’s operation is €40,000 (£32,000). This includes the logistics of the field hospital and the patrols, the staff, the veterinary and farrier expenses, the medicines and material for cures and treatments, food and water. This amount is needed for all participants –including animals– to enjoy the pilgrimage.
We have launched a fundraising campaign to cover the costs of the security and assistance operation.You can help our animal welfare operation in El Rocio by donating now.
The work of El Refugio del Burrito in the pilgrimage of El Rocío is carried out in close coordination with Plan Romero, Plan Aldea and the Nature Protection Service of the Guardia Civil (SEPRONA) of the province of Huelva.